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When considering a career in the medical field, many people only think of physicians and nurses who work in clinics, give shots, and diagnose patients. However, there’s a wealth of other career opportunities in fields related to health care which are classified as non-clinical positions. A new physician or one looking to make a career change may want to consider one of these five options outside the clinic.
1. Hospital administrator
One of the most common, and often highest paid ($50,000 to $170,000), non-clinical physician jobs is that of a hospital administrator. This job requires education in health care and business administration, often preferring advanced degrees in both. Physicians who have not studied business administration should consider earning an additional degree in order to excel as a hospital administrator.
2. Health care organization director
There are numerous non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other organizations that could use the knowledge and expertise of a physician. Serving as the director of a health care organization can be a great opportunity for someone seeking a non-clinical MD job ($91,509 to $116,240). These jobs can be international or domestic in their scope. Particularly when considering a job with non-profit organizations, it is important to consider the effects of a major shift in salary. There are other, more altruistic, rewards that come with this work, but they may not support the current lifestyle of someone used to a physician’s salary.
3. Senior medical writer
Medical journals, textbook publishers, and even news outlets are always in need of writers with intimate knowledge of the health care industry and the medical profession. This makes work as a medical writer a great non-clinical physician job opportunity ($77,000 to $90,000). Although physicians will have a strong understanding of the health-related aspects of medical writing, it is important to learn some writing skills to advance in this career. Most physicians do well with only a few writing seminars and some practice. However, a degree in English, in addition to a medical degree, wouldn’t be a bad idea for a future physician still working their way through school and considering this career field.
4. Pharmaceutical industry consultant
Working as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry can be a challenging non-clinical career for physicians ($80,000 to $150,000). Pharmaceutical companies employ physicians to assist with the development of clinical trials, to collaborate on product development and marketing and to navigate the complex regulatory system of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Typically, physicians who take jobs in the pharmaceutical industry will find themselves working within the bureaucracy of state and federal regulatory agencies or spending countless hours in a laboratory. It is important to consider which type of career is preferred before selecting a path within the pharmaceutical industry.
5. Health educator
Another common non-clinical job for physicians is that of a health educator ($54,000 to $70,000). This can be a professorial position with a major university or a teaching position in the health sciences department in the local school system. Most physicians already have all the credentials they would need to begin work as a university professor. Although, a few teaching seminars couldn’t hurt. However, teaching in the local school system will often require a physician to earn a teaching certificate for their region.
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